😻 Convert any video file to an optimized animated GIF.

License: ISC

Language: JavaScript

Keywords: ffmpeg, gif, gifify, gifsicle, imagemagick, mp4, nodejs, screencast, video


I am no more using this project or providing any support to it, if you want to maintain it, ping me here: vincent.voyer@gmail.com.

This project was created 4 years ago, there might be better ways to turn a video into a GIF now, use google!



Convert any video file to an optimized animated GIF. Either in its full length or only a part of it.

Demo time


This screencast was recorded with lolilolicon/FFcast then converted to a GIF with:

gifify screencast.mkv -o screencast.gif --resize 800:-1


  • command line interface
  • programmatic JavaScript (Node.JS) stream interface
  • unix friendly, supports stdin & stdout
  • optimized! uses pornel/giflossy to generate light GIFS
  • lots of options: movie speed, fps, colors, compression, resize, reverse, from & to, subtitles
  • no temp files used, everything happens in memory
  • fast! Extracting a 5-second GIF from the middle of a 2-hour movie takes less than 20 seconds


Before using gifify, please install:

You can also use the gifify Docker image which comes with everything installed.


npm install -g gifify

Command line usage

> gifify -h

  Usage: gifify [options] [file]


    -h, --help              output usage information
    -V, --version           output the version number
    --colors <n>            Number of colors, up to 255, defaults to 80
    --compress <n>          Compression (quality) level, from 0 (no compression) to 100, defaults to 40
    --from <position>       Start position, hh:mm:ss or seconds, defaults to 0
    --fps <n>               Frames Per Second, defaults to 10
    -o, --output <file>     Output file, defaults to stdout
    --resize <W:H>          Resize output, use -1 when specifying only width or height. `350:100`, `400:-1`, `-1:200`
    --reverse               Reverses movie
    --speed <n>             Movie speed, defaults to 1
    --subtitles <filepath>  Subtitle filepath to burn to the GIF
    --text <string>         Add some text at the bottom of the movie
    --to <position>         End position, hh:mm:ss or seconds, defaults to end of movie
    --no-loop               Will show every frame once without looping

Programmatic usage

See the example.

var fs = require('fs');
var gifify = require('gifify');
var path = require('path');

var input = path.join(__dirname, 'movie.mp4');
var output = path.join(__dirname, 'movie.gif');

var gif = fs.createWriteStream(output);

var options = {
  resize: '200:-1',
  from: 30,
  to: 35

gifify(input, options).pipe(gif);

You can also pass a readable stream to gifify(stream, opts).

Readable stream input performance

Gifify supports streams both on command line (cat movie.mp4 | gifify -o out.gif) and in the programmatic API (gifify(readableStream, opts).pipe(writableStream)).

While it's super useful in some cases, if you have the file on disk already, you better do gifify movie.mp4 -o out.gif or gifify(filePath, opts).pipe(writableStream).

Why? Because piping 3.4GB when you want to cut from 40:20 to 40:22 still takes a loooooot of time and does not give you any performance benefit.

FFmpeg has to read from 0GB -> $START_BYTE_40:20 and discards it. But everything flows in your memory.

When using direct file input from command line, we pass the -i filename option to FFmpeg and then it's super fast!

Be careful when |piping.

Adding some text

You can burn some simple text into your GIF:

gifify back.mp4 -o back.gif --from 01:48:23.200 --to 01:48:25.300 --text "What?..What?What?"




You can burn subtitles into your GIF, it's that easy:

gifify 22.mkv -o movie.gif --subtitles 22.ass --from 1995 --to 2002 --resize 600:-1

You must create new subtitles files, the timecodes for the complete film will not work for a five seconds GIF.

Create subtitles using aegisub and augment the font size for a great effect!

Here's the 22.ass from the previous command, created with aegisub:

[Script Info]
; Script generated by Aegisub 3.2.1
; http://www.aegisub.org/
Title: Default Aegisub file
ScriptType: v4.00+
WrapStyle: 0
ScaledBorderAndShadow: yes
YCbCr Matrix: None

[Aegisub Project Garbage]

[V4+ Styles]
Format: Name, Fontname, Fontsize, PrimaryColour, SecondaryColour, OutlineColour, BackColour, Bold, Italic, Underline, StrikeOut, ScaleX, ScaleY, Spacing, Angle, BorderStyle, Outline, Shadow, Alignment, MarginL, MarginR, MarginV, Encoding
Style: Default,Arial,20,&H00FFFFFF,&H000000FF,&H00000000,&H00000000,0,0,0,0,100,100,0,0,1,2,2,2,10,10,10,1

Format: Layer, Start, End, Style, Name, MarginL, MarginR, MarginV, Effect, Text
Dialogue: 0,0:00:02.50,0:00:03.97,Default,,0,0,0,,{\fnLiberation Sans\fs40}Okay, okay.
Dialogue: 0,0:00:05.00,0:00:06.90,Default,,0,0,0,,{\fnLiberation Sans\fs40}Okay. Okay.

Result extracting a GIF from 22 Jump Street:


GIF Performance

On modern hardware GIF is the slowest and most expensive video codec. Can we please allow it to be obsoleted?




Giflossy is a fork of gifsicle, gifsicle author is currently working on integrating the lossy part in gifsicle.

So in little time we will be able to directly use gifsicle and gifiscle packages.


jclem/gifify was a great source of inspiration.

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Vincent Voyer Greenkeeper Piet Jaspers Erwann Mest Michał Ordon Karan Thakkar Louis-Rémi Babé Alessandro Del Gobbo Keith Armstrong Hugo Locurcio Raphael Krut-Landau Arun Michael Dsouza Lucas CERDAN Radu-Sebastian Amarie The Gitter Badger jesse snyder Waldir Pimenta Max Ogden Jon Espen Kvisler Zane Hitchcox

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Convert any video file to an optimized animated GIF
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v2.4.0 March 26, 2017
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